Date: Oct 23, 2012 12:56 PM
Author: kirby urner
Subject: Re: Speachless In New York (or, another OMG moment)

Not at all. A curriculum that includes plenty of content on what's been
happening is not a "cause". The guiding principle is US public education is
about participating in democracy and your knowledge base aka cultural
literacy should be like what any future president might get. I don't want
21st century kids as ignorant as today's. Too expensive in terms of what
idiotic policies and laws result.
On Oct 23, 2012 9:04 AM, "Robert Hansen" <> wrote:

> So in other words, you have no intention of teaching children mathematics
> or computer science. You want to join them in your cause.
> Bob Hansen
> On Oct 23, 2012, at 11:38 AM, kirby urner <> wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 3:35 AM, Robert Hansen <> wrote:

>> On Oct 22, 2012, at 11:52 PM, kirby urner <> wrote:
>> Yes, I appear to stray off topic
>> I would have characterized it as running at the speed of light off
>> topic.:)
>> Bob Hansen

> But you see for me it's quite ON topic as my proposed techie-vocational
> curriculum, proposed for non-calculus heads as well as for those wishing
> traditional analog math (continuity etc.), includes SQL. Venn Diagrams,
> boolean algebra, SQL... a natural progression. We'll store polyhedron data
> in relational tables once we get there, perhaps using Sqlite. All free
> software if we like, not talking billions for Oracle.
> So? Well, I'm also into sharing Lore (stories, human interest features)
> not just techie skills.
> What I've said about 1900s K-12 math quite a lot is its ahistoric, doesn't
> believe in sharing timelines, is short on bios, applications (Ralph Abraham
> of UCSC has shared this same criticism -- was in a worshop with him at our
> Oregon Math Summit some years ago).
> Parabolas but no ballistics or dish receivers. Fractions but no Egyptian
> style fractions. And no talk about how mastery of the principles enables
> more life supportive advantages with less need for physical materials.
> Better mathematics and physics has meant more "ephemeralization"
> (Toynbee: "etherialization") meaning more and more functionality from
> fewer material resources. Recent example: the smartphone, a GPS device,
> camera, computer, and telecommunications device.
> You need the perspective of history to see "more with less" as a long term
> trend.
> SQL + a commitment to teaching Lore = delving in to the Nazi Germany
> chapter right in the middle of STEM, looking at the machinery of the
> holocaust, the importance of early tabulation machines.
> What check box schemas did they use, what was the database like?
> We look at US census data at the same time, at the questions. We're not
> afraid to ask about "race" (what is it?): what is the history of that
> concept and to what degree does it anticipate the findings of genetic
> science?
> We now know there's no "racial substance" any more than "blue blood"
> flowing in the veins of wealthy landowners. When two individuals have
> children, it's not like there's something "racial" is contributed 50-50, as
> if there were some "race gene". In the old days, they thought some
> "essence" was getting divided up, like "1/32nd black" was imagined to mean
> something in physical/genetic terms. But it's just pseudo-scientific
> nonsense (the Nazis were as deluded as the other white supremacists). Our
> science museum (OMSI) has an exhibit about that going on.
> So in my curriculum, the topic of SQL is a chance to get dark and to
> really expose students to "man's inhumanity to man". I'm not saying we'll
> watch all 15 hours of Shoah, but it might be listed as background viewing
> for extra credit.
> The topic of Unicode is when we get happy again (they're connected in that
> today's SQL engines support the Unicode codecs). Here 'Small World After
> All' and "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke" are more apropos. This is when
> we celebrate the multi-culturalism the Education Yakuza consider a
> positive. We're happy about our China Town, our Old Town in Portland. Our
> business with Asia is growing by leaps and bounds, thanks in part to that
> Intel plant in Ho Chi Minh city.
> Remember, STEM mathematics has a lot of GPS / GIS in it, is taking us back
> to Geography / Geodesy big time. With Google Earth, Google Mars, Google
> Moon, we're really into exploring spherical surfaces with spherical trig,
> lat / long, whatever hexapent grids (or "global matrix" some call those).
> Geography + Geometry is a unifying heuristic. It's a much more worldly
> math that you'd see in those 1900s textbooks that had been drained of all
> history, but for a few quaint sidebars maybe.
> In the 21st century, it'll be timelines galore. We're not just interested
> in Descartes for the XYZ coordinate system, we're interested in Descartes
> as a world line in history. He traveled a lot, ending up in Sweden, a
> chief counselor to the Queen. My / our students are more likely to know
> that.
> Kirby
> (first 57 minutes of a background lecture, International Room, Hyatt
> Regency, O'Hare Area, Chicago, 2009) - at around 9 mins is
> where I start talking about the importance of Lore (storytelling)